Volcano Caldera :: Santorini Greece

28 votes
Taken the 26/02/07
Santorini es un pequeño archipiélago circular formado por islas volcánicas, localizado en el sur del Mar Egeo, unos 200 km al sudeste del territorio continental griego. Es también conocida como Thera (o Thira, en griego Θήρα), formando el grupo de islas más meridional de las Cícladas, con un área aproximada de unos 73 km² y una población estimada en unos 13,600 habitantes (2001). Santorini es, en esencia, lo que queda de una enorme explosión volcánica que destruyó los primeros asentamientos existentes, haciendo desaparecer gran parte del territorio de la antigua isla y provocando la creación de la caldera geológica actual. Su espectacular belleza, junto con una animada vida nocturna, la han convertido en uno de los principales destinos turísticos de Europa. Sus construcciones tienen un aire oriental, con casas blancas y marcos de ventanas y puertas en azul, como se pueden encontrar en las costas de Marruecos o Túnez. Por otra parte, también se han formulado reproches contra el carácter desordenado y excesivo de su desarrollo urbanístico reciente.

Una gigantesca laguna central, más o menos ovalada, y con unas medidas de unos 12 por 7 km, está rodeada por tres lados por altos acantilados de unos 300 metros de altura. Las pendientes de la isla descienden desde lo alto del acantilado hasta el circundante Mar Egeo. En el cuarto lado, la laguna está separada del mar por una isla mucho más pequeña llamada Therasia; la laguna se une al mar por dos sitios, al noroeste y al sudoeste. Las aguas en el centro de la laguna tienen una profundidad de unos 400 metros, haciendo así posible la navegación de todo tipo de buques. Los puertos de la isla están todos en la laguna, y la capital, Fira, cuelga de lo alto del acantilado, sobre la ladera que desciende hasta la laguna.

Es el centro volcánico más activo del arco volcánico del sur del Egeo, si bien lo que hoy en día queda es realmente una caldera inundada. En la isla tuvo lugar una de las mayores erupciones volcánicas de la prehistoria reciente, la cual ocurrió hace aproximadamente 3.500 años. La erupción dejó una enorme caldera rodeada por depósitos de ceniza volcánica y, según algunas teorías, pudo haber causado indirectamente el colapso de la civilización Minoica de la isla de Creta, situada 110 km al sur, causando un gigantesco tsunami. Otra teoría sostiene que la erupción de Thera podría ser la inspiración principal de la leyenda de la Atlántida.

El nombre actual (Σαντορίνη, en griego) es de origen italiano, en concreto debido a los mercaderes venecianos medievales que la llamaron Santa Irene en italiano en honor a la patrona de la isla Santa Irene de Tesalónica. Previamente fue llamada Kallistē ("la más hermosa"), Strongylē ("la redonda"), o Thera. (Fuente: Wikipedia)

Santorini (Greek Σαντορίνη, pronounced [ˌsa(n)do̞ˈrini]) is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km south-east from Greece's mainland. It is also known as Thera (or Thira, Greek Θήρα [ˈθira]), forming the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km² (28 mi²) and a 2001 census population of 13,670. It is comprised of the Municipality of Thíra (pop. 12,440) and the Community of Oía (Οία, pop. 1,230, which includes 268 inhabitants resident on the offshore island of Therasia, lying to the west). They have a total land area of 90.623 km², which also includes the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiani (all part of the Municipality of Thira).

Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion, destroying the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island, and leading to the creation of the current geological caldera. Its spectacular physical beauty, along with a dynamic nightlife, have made the island one of Europe's tourist hot spots.

A giant central lagoon, more or less rectangular, and measuring about 12 km by 7 km (8 mi by 4 mi), is surrounded by 300 m (984 ft) high steep cliffs on three sides. The island slopes downward from the cliffs to the surrounding Aegean Sea. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon merges with the sea in two places, in the northwest and southwest. The water in the centre of the lagoon is nearly 400 m (1300 ft) deep, thus making it a safe harbour for all kinds of shipping. The island's harbours are all in the lagoon and there are no ports on the outer perimeter of the island, and the capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon. The volcanic rocks present from the prior eruptions feature olivine and have a notably small presence of hornblende.

It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, though what remains today is chiefly a water-filled caldera. The name Santorini was given it by the Latin empire in the thirteenth century, and is a reference to Saint Irene. Before then it was named Kallistē ("the most beautiful one"), Strongylē ("the circular one"), or Thera.

The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions the planet has ever seen: the Minoan eruption (sometimes called the Thera eruption), which occurred some 3,500 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of feet deep and may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km (70 miles) to the south, through the creation of a gigantic tsunami. Another popular theory holds that the Thera eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis (Source: Wikipedia)
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Latitude: 36° 24' 20" N, Longitude: 25° 23' 45" E see »

Location: Θήρα, Greece

Type: Country:
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